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Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath seeks amendments in Land Acquisition Bill

New Delhi, Sep. 28 (ANI): Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath has expressed concern over fair pricing, while demanding involvement of village councils in deciding the value of land in the draft version of the Land Acquisition Bill.

Commenting soon after meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Nath said: “My concern is about the fair market value, the fair market value is defined as the circle rate or the rate at which transfers have been made.”

“Now, it is well known, that the circle rate does not reflect the market price, the transacted price or registered price does not reflect the market price and even if we have a multiple of three and you multiply it by four, in most cases it is still not be the fair market price. So I have suggested that the gram Panchayat (village council) must decide the price of land, there must be another stream of valuation which will decide the price of land,” he added.

He said that processes of compensation and acquiring land should be done in an expeditious manner and also brought under the aegis of the bill.

“I want process to be fast, so that both the farmer gets his compensation quickly and process of acquiring should be fast. One of our major concerns is that there are huge tracts of land. Land has been acquired and notice has been issued, neither has compensation been paid, five years have passed, compensation has not been taken- possession has not been paid now those must come under the ambit of the new laws,” he added.

The GoM meeting on the Land Acquisition Bill was not fruitful, as the panel was indecisive in arriving at a rational conclusion. Reportedly, soon after the meeting, Pawar had indicated that the amendments to the draft would be completed within a week’s time.

The central government had constituted a 14-member GoM last week after some ministers had voiced reservations against some of the Bill’s provisions.

The ‘Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011′ was tabled in the Parliament last year and was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee which submitted its recommendations in May 2012. (ANI)